The Point of Beginning

The measuring of most of America began in Ohio in 1785, at a surveyed marker called the Point of Beginning, located where Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia meet. Marking the point began when state surveyors from Pennsylvania and Virginia agreed on where the north/south line dividing their states met Ohio’s boundary, on the north shore of the Ohio River. The stake they drove into the ground that day in 1785 has long since washed away, though a stone monument located nearby has existed since at least 1881.

2323 The “Point of Beginning of U.S. Public Land Surveys” is marked as such on the federal topographic quadrangle map, as it is possibly the most important mapping site in the nation. It is at the beginning of the west, and at the end of the land claimed by the 13 original colonies.

2222 CLUI photo.The monument is located where the meridian crosses Highway 39/68. The meridian is the state line between Ohio and Pennsylvania, as indicated by the change in asphalt on the road.

2224 CLUI photo.The current monument was erected in 1960.

2226 CLUI photo.The actual point of the Point of Beginning is 1,112 feet south of the monument on the other side of the railroad tracks, unmarked on the north bank of the Ohio River, on land now owned by the SH Bell Company, a local industrial materials supplier.